Damascus is the capital of Syria and located in the south-western part of the country. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Because of its beauty it has been described as the “Pearl of the East”.
Even though the majority of the Syrian civil war has taken place in different parts of the country, Damascus is still affected by it, with damaged or destroyed buildings and a weakened economy. Today Damascus is home to about 2.5 million people, many of whom moved here from other areas.
Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Damascus.
After many years of armed conflict, a record number of Syrian families have been pushed into poverty, hunger and food insecurity. This means that people lack regular access to healthy food.
The majority of Syrians are unsure where their next meal will come from. According to the World Food Programme, 12.4 million Syrians — nearly 60% of the population – don’t have enough to eat, with many more at risk of becoming food insecure in the future.
Children and young people will suffer from this lack of nutritious food because their physical and mental development will be affected.
Around 7 million people, including 3.1 million children, in Syria are internally displaced. They had to leave behind their homes because of violence, natural disasters or armed conflicts and have settled in another part of the country.
Death rates among displaced people are much higher and they’re also at risk of physical violence, sexual assault, and kidnapping. They're often denied proper housing, food, and health care.
Children and young people who are forced to flee their homes leave behind everything they know. As parents struggle to rebuild their lives, children often miss out on schooling and on other normal childhood activities.